Get the latest information on the nationally respected Michigan State Defense from the #1 DC in the nation: Pat Narduzzi!
Q: What did you learn from the scrimmage?
Narduzzi: I am really happy where our one (1st string) defense is, but we’ve got to develop our backups. Our depth is not good enough, but I felt pretty good about how the ones played.
Q: How is Mylan Hicks playing?
Narduzzi: Mylan Hicks is playing very well at the STAR position. I’m happy where Mylan is right now.
Q: How is the defensive line coming together?
Narduzzi: Pretty good. It’s hard because there is a lot of guys. Disappointed in some guys didn’t get the amount of reps I wanted to and shoot we had 183 plays out there. It’s like four game, at least three. Inside we as coaches just have to narrow it down as quickly as we can and you still don’t know. You try not to make a mistake as a coach saying he’s out he can’t do it, because he didn’t have enough reps or he is too young because he is still learning. We’ve got to be careful as coaches, but we are trying to narrow it down, but we’re going to be solid inside.
Q: Who’s moving up in terms of making a move up the depth chart?
Narduzzi: You know it is too early to say. Riley Bullough is doing a heck of a job, when you are looking at the linebackers. There are a few linebackers, (Jon) Reschke played great and so did Taiwan Jones. I thought about of those guys played well. Darien (Harris) didn’t play much MIKE, but you have Taiwan Jones and Reschke played most of the reps with the ones and looked pretty darn good.
Q: Dantonio commented on the play of (True Freshman DT David) Beedle and that he has moved into the third string. Dantonio says all three will play. If I had said to you that you would have THREE true freshman defensive tackles (DT) play would you have believed that?
Narduzzi: We’ve got the best freshman D tackles class in the country I think. I don’t know if there is a better group out there as far as four very very good ones. They are all going to be four great players. I don’t know how many are going to play for us this year, but at least two of them and possibly three. Who knows. I would like to think two are it’s hard to say, but Beedle is playing well.
Q: Riley is really giving it a run over there?
Narduzzi: He’s giving somebody a run. He’s the running. Let’s put it that way. He plays with great enthusiasm. He makes plays, he’s physical and he’s tough. He’s what the Spartans are all about.
Q: Is Darien (Harris) keeping himself in the mix?
Narduzzi: Darien is playing good, not as good as I want him to be. I expect more out of him because he was higher in spring ball, but he is playing good.
Q: Is he (Darien Harris) still with the ones?
Q: It is an assumption that the offense is ahead of the defense, do you agree with that?
Narduzzi: UM….(long pause) you’ve got a lot of talented wide receivers and the quarterbacks are good. Connor Cook I still believe is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. I would say the offense is ahead of the defense. But I don’t know how many rushing yards they had. I have said this before we better stop the run. We ARE COMMITED to stopping the run. I don’t know what the run stats looked like for you guys, cause I don’t know what you looked at or read. Who’s ahead or who’s behind, but if you don’t run the ball you can’t win and that is a fact.
Hondo: They couldn’t run it against your defense. (Not a question, a statement of fact)
Narduzzi: I don’t know. I don’t know if they gave you guys the stats or not so I’m not saying nothing.
Q: (Montez) Sweat I know you are high on him. How has he looked?
Narduzzi: Sweat is a puppy and he is doing a great job. He’s tough, he’s athletic, and we’ve got to get him ready to go. He’s going to be ready to go.
Q: So looking at the press release from the scrimmage maybe it is fair to say that the depth at wide receiver and quarterback shined against your two and threes maybe?
Narduzzi: Maybe. I don’t know what you got.
Q: We got about 700 passing yards?
Narduzzi: Oh did yah? (Monster laugh) That’s a lot of yards. It was a lot of plays. (Still laughing)
Q: Was there a lot of missed tackles by the second strings?
Narduzzi: Really there was two plays of missed tackles that I remember. That were ugly in my opinion. That was about it.
Q: How is Darien (Harris) doing in terms of playing the STAR and leading?
Narduzzi: Darien is a leader for us on and off the field. He’s doing a great job.
Q: Montae Nicholson. We have heard corner we have heard safety, where is he?
Narduzzi: He’s a baby. He’s a baby just trying to learn still. He’s a heck of an athlete. About as physical of a DB as you are going to have. He might be the most physical DB out there, but he’s still learning. He’s really really raw right now. We started him at safety, but he’s playing more corner now. He’s locked in to one (position) and started to play good, but he’s got a ways to go. He’s a freshman. It’s hard.
Q: I would not want to run into Enoch Smith, Jr. in a dark alley, but is he playing like the beast he looks like?
Narduzzi: Enoch is playing well. I’ve seen great things out of him. We are happy. We’re happy with those inside guys as I said earlier.
Q: How about L.T. (Lawrence Thomas) and Demetrious Cooper doing?
Narduzzi: This is a new L.T. Let me just tell you. L.T. is playing very very well. The state of Michigan will be happy with what L.T. has turned out to be. Cooper is playing good. He’s got to be more consistent, but he’s got ability. He’s a little banged up right now, but he’s going to be a good football player for us.